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America's Own Pet Terror Organization Gets a Very Special Treatment

The Huffington Post publishes, and then deletes, a post by a MeK spokesman. What does this tell us about Terrorism?

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To be clear, I don’t find HuffPost’s conduct — either in publishing posts from MeK spokespeople or removing them — to be objectionable. That’s not the point here. I personally believe it’s better to hear from all groups and to have all viewpoints aired rather than trying with inevitable futility to suppress them, but if HuffPost really does have a policy against publication of “people affliated with designated terrorist organizations,” then — just like laws criminalizing the providing of “material support to Terrorist organizations” — it should apply equally to MeK and those who work with it (including MeK’s list of paid D.C. political celebrities).

[In the wake of 9/11, the U.S. Government instructed American media outlets not to broadcast any statements from Osama bin Laden on the ground that he might embed in his statements coded signals to his followers to activate sleeper cells on American soil -- perhaps he would use the  nose wiggle employed by Bewitched's Samantha Stevens to unleash her magic powers -- and many American media outlets (needless to say) dutifully complied. It seems clear that the real reason for suppression of those Al Qaeda statements was to ensure that Americans, who were understandably asking "Why Do They Hate Us"? in the wake of 9/11, would be prevented from hearing Al Qaeda's actual grievances about U.S. aggression so that they could instead be told that They Hate Us for Our Freedom; George Bush on September 21, 2001: "Americans are asking 'Why do they hate us?' . . . They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other". It's far preferable, in my view, to allow all views to be aired, but a ban on Terror groups and their supporters should be equally applied.]

What makes this HuffPost event notable is that it is inconceivable that they would publish posts from spokespeople or paid advocates for other designated Terrorist groups which do not command widespread support among Washington’s elites — such as, say, Al Qaeda, or Hamas, or Hezbollah. MeK is treated differently because they are Our Terrorists. NBC News reported that “deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident  group [MeK] that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service,” while The New Yorker‘s Seymour Hersh  detailed in April that the U.S. has provided extensive training to MeK operatives, on U.S. soil. This entire MeK controversy has, as vividly as any event in a long time, illustrated the core truth of Terrorism and the laws against it: the entire concept has no purpose in American political discourse and law other than to delegitimize and criminalize support for groups which use violence in opposition to American violence and aggression, while sanctioning and enabling those groups which use such violence to advance America’s interests.

MeK used to work in close cooperation with Saddam (during the time Saddam was America’s decreed Enemy, rather than Ally), so they were therefore Bad: Terrorists. Indeed, in 2003, when the Bush administration was advocating an attack on Iraq, one of the prime reasons it cited was “Saddam Hussein’s Support for International Terrorism,” and it circulated  a document purporting to prove that assertion, in which one of the first specific accusations listed was this:

Iraq shelters terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), which has used terrorist violence against Iran and in the 1970s was responsible for killing several U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilians.

So just nine years ago, Saddam’s links to MeK were cited by the U.S. Government as proof that he sheltered Terrorist groups. Now, the MeK works for the interests of (and in cooperation with) Israel and the U.S., so suddenly, they are now Good, and the most Serious Beltway officials are free to openly take money from and advocate for this Terror group (as a result, the MeK is, predictably, highly likely to be rewarded by being removed by the Obama administration from the Terrorist list). They are basically the Ahmad Chalabis of Iran: despite being widely despised in Iran for their support for Iraq in its war against Iran, they are being deceitfully held out as the True Pro-American, Pro-Israel, Pro-Western-Intervention Voice of the Iranian People (paid MeK shill Howard Dean  actually argued that the U.S. should recognize MeK’s leader as the legitimate President of Iran).

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